CHARLESTON, SC - May 13, 2008 - Ross Buchmueller, president and chief executive officer with PURE Risk Management, today announced the South Carolina launch of Privilege Underwriters Reciprocal Exchange (PURE), a specialist insurer dedicated exclusively to serving the owners of high-value homes insured for more than $1 million.
PURE will offer comprehensive coverage, including windstorm coverage, for large, well-built South Carolina homes that meet the standards of the latest building codes. PURE also will offer automobile, jewelry and art, personal-excess liability and watercraft coverage.
"PURE's expansion to South Carolina comes at a crucial time during our state's insurance crisis, when the limited capacity of our current insurance carriers and the restrictions of the South Carolina Wind & Hail Underwriting Association have led to a challenging environment of high prices, unregulated coverage and limited choices for customers," said Bobby Collins, a longtime insurance-industry expert and business leader selected by PURE to run its South Carolina operations. "The wind pool is ill-equipped to deal with high-value homes as it limits the amount of coverage and the type of coverage available."
"PURE is a welcomed solution that provides significant benefits including high-value homeowners insurance with wind and hail coverage, competitive rates that are subject to regulation, customized insurance programs and outstanding service," Collins added.
Other PURE benefits include:
- Hurricane and named-storm deductibles that range from 2% to 25% of the policies' dwelling limits
- Additional coverage to allow members to make environmentally friendly upgrades after property losses, including upgrades for vehicles that are total losses
- Customized, competitively priced jewelry insurance coverage
- Competitive auto-insurance coverage for households that have more cars than drivers
- Online quote indications, personalized customer service, and prompt, expert claims service
"PURE looks forward to meeting the insurance needs of the owners of high-value homes in South Carolina," said Ross Buchmueller, who served as president of AIG Private Client Group from its inception in 1999 until he founded PURE Risk Management in 2006. "Although the South Carolina market is unique, our successful history in Florida demonstrates our ability to understand complex coastal markets and provide competitive rates and effective solutions. Our selective underwriting enables us to provide higher quality coverage and more personalized service at significantly lower costs."
Following its formation in late 2006, PURE has focused on providing insurance solutions for its members (policyholders) in Florida. PURE currently provides coverage to more than 2,000 members in Florida and has issued almost 4,000 policies throughout that state. Its methodical expansion includes working closely with the Institute for Business and Home Safety to identify local communities that meet Florida's building codes as well as PURE's stringent construction eligibility criteria. The company is doing the same in South Carolina.
PURE is unique in that it is a reciprocal exchange committed to ensuring the transparency of its operations. PURE is owned by its policyholders (members) who pay a surplus contribution of 10% of their high-value homeowners' and watercraft premiums and 4% of their premium for all other policies for each of the first five years of membership). PURE currently has more than $50 million of policyholder surplus, fueled in part by these surplus contributions. If at the end of the year, the members' premiums prove to exceed the cost of providing insurance, PURE will return the balance as a dividend or credit to each member through a Subscriber Savings Account (SSA PURE issues non-assessable policies, so its members' liabilities are limited to the costs of their respective policies. PURE has been awarded a Financial Stability Rating of "A" (exceptional).
PURE Risk Management LLC acts as attorney-in-fact for PURE and provides management services including underwriting, marketing, product management, financial oversight and claims handling.
Privilege Underwriters Reciprocal Exchange (PURE) is the first property-casualty insurance company dedicated exclusively to insuring successful families. PURE is a Florida-domiciled reciprocal insurance exchange. PURE provides its members with comprehensive high-value homeowners' insurance policies, including windstorm and optional excess flood coverage, for Florida and South Carolina homes insured for greater than $1 million that are built to the standards of the latest building codes. It also provides private fleet auto insurance, including agreed-value settlements for total losses, and insurance for jewelry and art. PURE also offers watercraft insurance and personal excess liability coverage with limits ranging from $5 million to $10 million. For more information, visit www.pureinsurance.com.
Interviews with PURE's executives and policyholders available upon request